Kilnatoora Castle is an impressive five storey medieval tower house which stands on a rock precipice overlooking the Tourig River in East Cork, about three miles from Youghal.
The castle is now surrounded by trees and is located on private land which makes it difficult to appreciate the scale of the structure.
According to several sources, the castle was a stronghold of the Fitzgerald Earls of Desmond. A letter from Sir Maurice Fitzgerald of Dromana to Lord Justice Fitzwilliam in 1571 said that he had captured the castle of Kilnatoora near Youghal. The castle and lands of Kilnatoora were subsequently in the possession of Sir Walter Raleigh, having been granted to him in 1585. He disposed of it to the Earl of Cork in 1602.
The castle was besieged by Irish Royalist forces under Lord Castlehaven during the Confederate Wars in 1645.
Little is know of its history after that date
The Tourig was navigable up as far as the castle and it commands the river valley which explains its strategic importance.
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